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Lesson Plan: Collecting Data on Running Speeds

SUBJECT: Technology
TOPIC: Data Gathering
DESCRIPTION: A set of problems dealing with data collection.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Carol Hodanbosi
EDITED BY: Jonathan G. Fairman - August 1996

To collect real data to input into a computer spreadsheet

To collect data on running speeds of various individuals in your class to determine the average running speed for a distance of 20 meters.


  • meter stick
  • stop watch precise to the nearest 0.001 second
  • 20 meter in length flat area


  1. Using a meter stick, mark off a linear distance of 5 meters, 10 meters, and 15 meters on a flat surface, such as a playground, parking lot or track.
  2. Have each student predict how long it will take to run each of these distances. Have each student give reasons for their predictions, explaining the difference between a hypothesis and a guess.
  3. Have one student be the time-keeper at the finish line and another student record each individual's time.
  4. Each student should run the distance at least 3 times for accurate results.
  5. Fill in Chart A.
  6. Choosing the fastest speed for each distance, convert to miles per hour.
  7. Record the times, speeds, and names of all the other classmates and enter into a spreadsheet.
  8. Use the information in chart B to label the data headings.
  9. Use formulas within the spreadsheet to calculate average times (rounded to the nearest 0.01 second) and average speed ( in both meters/second and miles per hour)
  10. In the last line of the spreadsheet , include calculations to average the entire class data.


Related Pages:
Aeronautics Classroom Activities
Aerospace Activities
Aerodynamics Index
Average Velocity - Aircraft Application


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: May 13 2021

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